AMD, Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central part of the retina. This degenerative disease usually appears after the age of 50. It is the leading cause of visual impairment in Western countries and affects 1 in 4 people aged over 75 and more than half aged over 90.

AMD symptoms:
at the heart of the retina

AMD attacks the central area of the retina. In fact, it directly affects the central vision of the eye leaving peripheral vision intact. Activities such as reading or driving become difficult for people with AMD because they have difficulty recognizing details, shapes or colors.

The symptoms that should alert you:

– Decreased sensitivity to contrasts,
– decreased visual acuity,
– distorted or warped vision,
– the appearance of a central spot: a scotoma.

Any of these symptoms should prompt you to consult an ophthalmologist. Only early diagnosis and specific medical treatment can slow the progression of AMD.

Two types
of AMD

Dry macular degeneration (atrophic)

Dry macular degeneration is characterized by zones of atrophy where the pigment epithelium and photoreceptors have disappeared. It evolves slowly. In the initial stages, whitish deposits, called drusen appear. These are waste products from the transduction process that the retina is not able to eliminate.

Current medical treatment consists of taking dietary supplements such as vitamins C, E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, etc… Lenses with filters and work to retrain remaining visual abilities should be adopted as soon as possible.

Wet macular degeneration (exudative)

Wet macular degeneration appears when blood vessels grow under the retina. Its evolution is rapid and often severe. By forming behind the macula in the retina, these abnormal blood vessels cause retinal folds that create distortions and cause a sudden loss of vision. Current medical treatment is repeated injection into the eye of anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) depending on the evolution of the affected areas. These injections limit the proliferation of abnormal blood vessels and help control the development of wet AMD.

SLOWING THE ONSET
OF AMD

Harmful blue-violet light from screens contributes to the degeneration of the retina. Thus it’s highly recommended to start early wearing glasses that can effectively filter this harmful light. The Essilor Group offers protective lenses that prevent the premature aging of eyes.

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Contact
Essilor

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